You can look God straight in the eye
It’s not fun

but don’t flatter yourself, it’s not a challenge. It’s outside of what is restricted
It’s outside of what is forbidden to you. And it’s outside of all that hates you

You bring your slack jaw to it

The Eucharist was insisted upon
Christ and man provoke each other now

(Christ the provocateur)
(Emily the provocateur)

That is the Christ-Man’s perpetual
motion machine

And I haven’t even decided yet
I’m just looking. I’m trying to think

Christ Pantocrator looked at me from the Eucharist
Yet I willed it

But we knew each other. And there was a stress on nothing. Which I resent
And I had to carry that home with me

I have inherited a pallor, a gait, a watchful eye
Not a brilliant eye


Emily Tristan Jones was raised in the subarctic and prairies. Her poems have been in Harvard Review, Denver QuarterlyDalhousie Review, and several other journals. Her first book of poetry, Buttercup, will be published by Verge Books (Chicago, 2024). She is an alumna of the University of Chicago, Banff Centre, and Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. She lives in Montreal where she edits Columba

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